I have chosen William Shakesepeare, the Bard of Avon and top notch playwright and poet, as my letter S reason to be cheerful, but I also offer him as a reason to be in awe of what another human being has done.
Shakespeare lived for just over half a century and by the time he died he'd written so many extraordinary plays that even if he'd only come up with one or two of them we would still probably be talking of him with some reverence.
I realise I might be making some cultural assumptions here that Shakespeare means as much to people around the world as he does to me. I am intensely proud that I come from the country of Shakespeare's birth, but, let's be honest, that's for no good reason. I didn't write the plays, that was done four centuries ago, and I'm not even that knowledgeable about his work. Even so, Shakespeare...what a guy.
|A porcelain figure of Shakespeare which I|
suspect doesn't look much like him.
No guesses as to which side of the argument I go for, but even Shakespeare cynics must be a bit impressed that people still find enough in his work to make it worthwhile to stage his plays in so many weird and wonderful ways. And I haven't even mentioned the sonnets yet.
While there may be some debate over whether Shakespeare wrote everything that was attributed to him (I think he did, it's just easier that way) there is no doubt that our debt to the slightly mysterious man called William Shakespeare is one we are likely to keep on paying for centuries to come.
Shakespeare has inspired all sorts of music and songs down the years, but I like To Be Or Not To Be by BA Robertson which with some slightly wonky rhyming manages to pack in lots of references.
- Question: Shakespeare: perfect playwright or balding bore? What do you think? Tell me in the comments section below.
* Picture of Derby Porcelian figure of Shakespear from Walters Art Museum [Public domain, CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons